Back in 2005, NCC in partnership with Arriva got some money from government ('Kickstart' programme) to put on an extra #518 bus from Newcastle to Widdrington Station to give a half hourly service. It was unfortunate at the time for Northumbria Coaches who had introduced a parallel service out to Widdrington Station backed by their own money, just four-five months earlier.
However, apparently, the route is now a commercial success so Arriva will be running it without subsidy. And - NCC & Arriva have been awarded Kickstart 2009 funding to extend the half hourly service out to Amble, while out of the own pockets, Arriva will take the risk of funding the rest of the route Amble-Alnwick.
So - a half hourly #518 service from Newcastle to Alnwick via Widdrington and Amble starting from April '10.